Steel Exporters Benefit from Internet Portal
With more than 150 companies having joined since its recent launch, the South African steel industry’s internet-based Africa Trade Steel Export Portal, ( http://www.steeltrade.co.za) is proving invaluable to local exporters of value-added steel products.
The Technological Information Promotion System (TIPS) is a specialized network that provides support and information to business enterprises, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises. TIPS began operation in 1986. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Fund for Science and Technology (UNFSTD) designed TIPS as an international network for information exchange operating within the framework of South-South Cooperation. Currently, TIPS is being implemented by Devnet Association, a non-profit, international non-governmental organization (NGO), with Category I Consultative Status granted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
TIPS is one of the largest information networks operating in the developing countries of the world. It promotes technology and trade cooperation between SMEs in the TIPS member countries. TIPS is composed of National Bureaus, Regional Centers, Sub-Regional Centers and an International Operations Center based in Rome (Italy).
Globally, TIPS has grown in terms of member countries and types of services. From the original ten countries in 1986, it now has 42 participating countries. In terms of new services, TIPS also developed its capability to provide business facilitation services to companies. These include assistance in planning and arranging business mission, business matching, export opportunity tracking, among others. Each national bureau, however, offers other services that may be suitable to the needs in their respective national markets.